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  • Richard R. Fay, DC

Understanding Cravings & Hunger

Updated: Jun 2

We understand that being at home presents us with different challenges than a normal routine with work and school would bring. And being stuck at home can cause some of us to be more susceptible at deviating from the Protocol. The top reasons for deviation while being quarantined at home are:

  • Boredom

  • Stress eating

  • More people at home (crowded and stressful)

  • Being in close quarters with people who are eating non-Phase 1 foods

Let’s First Define the Difference Between Cravings & Hunger!


Cravings are defined as a pleasant response to food, characterized by their intensity and their specificity. Typically, we have triggers that set us off, such as hunger, stress, emotions, particular places, and of course the sight and smell of the item in question. Research indicates that cravings typically last on average 3 to 5 minutes.


Hunger is defined as a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat.


So, how do you identify which one you are experiencing, craving or hunger? Simply put, if you would rather eat chocolate over chicken or lettuce, then you are probably experiencing a craving. If you would eat anything, including the chicken and lettuce, then you are actually hungry.



Ask yourself the following questions to help identify which one you are experiencing:


Is my stomach grumbling? Or, is it in my head?

  • When was the last time I ate?

  • When was the last time I drank water?

  • Why am I craving/hungry for this “food’?



Tips & Tricks on How to Distract Yourself When Cravings Come Up


You can definitely overcome these challenging thoughts, but we know it’s hard. Working on your mindset is critical. Here are some ideas that can help you stay on track and get the results that you have been working so hard to achieve.


1. Your Why Remind yourself why you started this journey and post your “why” around the house. Post it on the fridge, mirrors, and computer/laptop. Some examples are of your “why” could be:

  • To reduce my medication(s)

  • To be able to climb a flight of stairs and not be out of breath

  • To watch my grandchildren grow up, and to be able to play and keep up with them


2. Keep your Mind Busy! It’s that simple. You should never be bored! If boredom leads you to eat mindlessly, then don’t allow yourself to go there.

  • Start a puzzle

  • Play board games or video games

  • Practice mindfulness: meditate, journal, or simply stop, focus and breathe

  • Reach out to a friend and have a conversation

  • Read a book or an article, or maybe even write a book

  • Learn something new, like knitting or a new language (check out Duolingo)

  • Paint. If you are not a painter, you can do ‘paint by number’. Anyone can do that!


3. Keep your Body Moving!

  • Go for a walk, a light run or a bike ride

  • Turn on music - play it loud and dance around

  • Practice Yoga (check out YouTube)

  • Watch and follow the Ideal Protein Fitness Videos (located on the Ideal Protein Platform)

  • Do a light workout with stuff around the house (use cans or water bottles as weights)

  • Live in an apartment building? Take the stairs!

  • Do you have a yard or live in the country? Chop firewood, rake leaves, have fun gardening


4. Other Creative Ideas!

  • If possible, avoid having non-Phase 1 foods in the house

  • Clean the house, wash windows, organize drawers and closets.

  • Drink something hot - it’s comforting

  • Take a nice hot shower or bath

  • Try new Phase 1 recipes - check out Chef Verati videos on the Ideal Protein Platform.

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